John Lewis Secret Santa…and a touch of Temperley

You may remember a few weeks ago I told you all about the Bloggers Secret Santa that I was taking part in, courtesy of John Lewis. Well, last Friday I received my present through the post, chosen by the lovely Sioned of Tea and Fairylights, 

I don’t mind admitting that I was super excited to open the present- I am a fan of all things Christmas, and I possibly get even more excited than my four-year-old, which is definitely saying something. On tearing the packaging I let out a little squeal when I saw a Somerset by Alice Temperley label, and realised that this was a gift of cashmere.

Sioned had chosen the most wonderful cashmere snood in a soft grey cable design. Long enough to be either worn loose, or to be looped twice for a snug fit, this is a piece of luxury that is suitable to be worn every day. Sioned tweeted me and said;

yay!!! Oh I’m so happy ūüėÄ I thought- every mum needs a touch of cashmere for the school run ūüôā i hope it makes you feel glam first thing in the morning xxxxxxx’

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Enjoying my Secret Santa gift having lunch with Joe.

Enjoying my Secret Santa gift having lunch with Joe.

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I have been so lucky with the gift that Sioned chose for me, it is a perfect choice for me, I couldn’t have chosen any better for myself. I know I will be wearing it all Winter , contrasted with soft pinks and navy shades. It feels so soft to the skin, a real touch of luxury.

Somerset by Alice Temperley Cashmere Cable Snood, Light Grey  £75 click to visit John Lewis

Somerset by Alice Temperley Cashmere Cable Snood, Light Grey £75 click to visit John Lewis

 

Caggie Dunlop – A winter masterclass

Some girls just know how to dress for the really cold weather. I can’t claim to be one of them. I don’t really like wearing trousers all that much, always feel overly warm in a winter coat, and I keep loosing gloves. Which is why sometimes I require a masterclass in the art of Winter dressing. Watching The Made in Chelsea Christmas special a few days ago, I got one from Caggie Dunlop.

Yes, the pouting one seems to have winter dressing down to a tee! She can do dressed down in utility style jackets and jeans, and dressed up in the most amazing winter cashmere cape (courtesy of Hayley Menzies!)¬† I’ve seen this side of Narnia. She knows how to rock a hat without looking like a teapot under a cosy, or some sort of Artful Dodger. And she has made a snug furry coat a part of her daytime and evening wardrobe, a great way to make your wardrobe work for you, especially if you own a Cossack style fur hat for that Dr Zhivago look.

So, onto the clothes. Caggie has been spotted wearing the gorgeous fur coat both in episodes of Made in Chelsea, and out and about in London. This is a look that is easy to replicate, fur coats are  everywhere on the High Street, and vintage ones can be picked up cheaply in charity shops (I paid just £5 for mine).

cotton traders fur coat £65 

Betty Multi Faux Fur Coat £40.00 

mixed faux fur coat £89 

Caggie also wore the exquisite cashmere hooded cape during the Christmas Finland trip. This is from Hayley Menzies and is currently available in the January sale for £224, a saving of £96. This is a beautiful luxury buy, with more than a touch of fairy princess about it. Caggie is not the first of the Made in Chelsea girls to be spotted wearing Hayley Menzies goodies,Binky has also been spotted wearing a monochrome shawl from the same company.

SALE // Winter Warm Cashmere Hooded Shawl Cream £224 click to visit Hayley Menzies

As well as fur, Caggie went for a more boyish look when she wore a parka style jacket at the Natural History Museum’s ice rink. Again, this is a very popular look at the moment, with parka’s being warm, practical and waterproof. They also add a touch of ‘Modrophenia’ cool to any outfit.

Wax parka coat £85

Casual clean parka £60

If you loved Caggie’s fur hat, how about this very similar one from Firetrap at USC. I think this is a really close match.

Firetrap Cosserprint Fur Hat £30

The final scene in the Made in Chelsea Christmas special was a special party for all the gang, featuring fake snow and a pretty awful version of ‘The 12 days of Christmas’. Caggie wore a great slouch front jumpsuit from one of her favourite retailers, Gorgeous Couture. Caggie wore a black version, which I can’t find an image of, but the suit is still available in black, blush and Khaki, and is currently reduced to ¬£174.

Slouch Front Jumpsuit £174 

Pure Collection – Cashmere Heaven.

The unfortunate thing about the weather turning decidedly chillier is my aversion to coats. I love them, but don’t particularly like wearing them, I rush about far too much, then feel hot and sticky and end up carrying them in all weathers.¬† But with a two year old that would be happy to live in the park or garden, there wasn’t much hope of avoiding that wrapped up feeling…until I was contacted by Pure Collection.

For those unaware of the brand, Pure Collection produce some of the most stylish, covetable Cashmere items on the market. These are super luxury items, but keying into the trends in terms of colour, shape and style. From boyfriend cardigans to over size jumpers and the sleekest of knitted dresses, Pure Collection ensures that all your Cashmere needs are catered for.

So when Pure Collection asked me if I would be interested in test driving an item,  I arrived at their website quicker than you could say the word CASHMERE. I was interested to see if premium cashmere items differed from the versions you can now get  from supermarket chains and budget stores. I also wanted to see if  they could solve my winter warmth dilemma.

I chose a fabulous knitted cape (£199) and opted for the soft butterscotch shade, although I was sorely tempted by the charcoal version. This cape looked  fabulous on the model in the publicity picture, worn with jeans and a long sleeved top, the  sort of look I often adopt for everyday wear. I also loved the stylish collar stopped the cape from appearing blanket like, and the fact that the arms were actually free rather than stuck  in holes that restrict movement.

Pure Collection Cashmere Knitted Cape £199.00 

The cape arrived in glossy red packaging and tissue paper, making it a perfect Christmas gift, and was absolutely beautiful. The colour was really buttery, and the cashmere was just so soft that you have to resist the temptation to stroke it.  An upcoming weekend in Wales was the perfect opportunity to give the cape a real test drive, how would  it fare in real cold conditions in the heart of Snowdonia?

The answer is perfectly. From cuddling up on a blistering cold afternoon when it felt like I had my very own blanket, to popping over a pair of leggings and boots for a trip to the shops, this was perfect attire. In addition,¬† those slits for the arms made it really easy to push Baba’s pushchair without that usual straight jacket poncho feeling. Unlike supermarket Cashmere,there was no sign of bobbling after a few wears, this piece had longevity stamped all over it. And it just feels so glamorous and luxurious, you really don’t want to take it off.

This is just the perfect winter warmer from Pure Collection, one which anyone would be lucky to find in their stocking.

Here are a few more choice picks

Cashmere Boat Neck Dress £179.00 

Cashmere Longline Gassato Cardigan £109.00 

Cashmere Socks £35.00 

Pashmina Stole £99.00

To view the full collection from Pure Collection click here